We got our choc lab 6 months before my son was born (she was a puppy). We are nearing the end of her run. My boy and our lab have been extremely close. Lab was very protective of him through out his life. She is 12.5 yrs old. She's been having hip issues for a long time now.
As stated, its hard to beat a lab for a family dog. IMO the yellows are smarter then the chocs, with the chocs being slightly larger.
But I wouldn't consider a lab as a "crate" dog.